2D Hierarchical Microbarcodes with Expanded Storage Capacity for Optical Multiplex and Information Encryption

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The design of nanosegregated fluorescent tags/barcodes by geometrical patterning with precise dimensions and hierarchies could integrate multilevel optical information within one carrier and enhance microsized barcoding techniques for ultrahigh-density optical data storage and encryption. However, precise control of the spatial distribution in micro/nanosized matrices intrinsically limits the accessible barcoding applications in terms of material design and construction. Here, crystallization forces are leveraged to enable a rapid, programmable molecular packing and rapid epitaxial growth of fluorescent units in 2D via crystallization-driven self-assembly. The fluorescence encoding density, scalability, information storage capacity, and decoding techniques of the robust 2D polymeric barcoding platform are explored systematically. These results provide both a theoretical and an experimental foundation for expanding the fluorescence storage capacity, which is a longstanding challenge in state-of-the-art microbarcoding techniques and establish a generalized and adaptable coding platform for high-throughput analysis and optical multiplexing.